Farmers’ markets to benefit traders while keeping prices affordable

Fama’s My Rakyat programme offers consumers savings of between 5% and 20% on fresh produce and other food items.

THE Johor Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (Fama) will continue organising farmers’ markets to create a win-win situation for both consumers and traders by offering goods and produce at affordable prices.

State director Shahrizan Sudirman said that through Fama’s My Rakyat programme, consumers would be able to buy fresh produce and food items with savings of between 5% and 20%.

He said the programme acted as a channel for local farmers and food producers to deliver their goods directly to consumers.

“The My Rakyat concept is our way of letting consumers enjoy lower prices in view of the rising cost of living and the economic impact brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“At the same time, the programme serves as a platform for new and existing entrepreneurs, especially youths and those in the B40 group, to get better income.

“I believe that their participation will add value to their experience and hopefully, expand their market down the road, ” he told StarMetro in Johor Baru.

Shahrizan said according to Fama’s study in 2019, vendors who participated in the My Rakyat programme enjoyed an additional income of between RM595 and RM1,842 on average each month.

For this year, Fama planned to focus on locations near public and private universities, army camps, people’s housing projects (PPR), housing areas and government offices, he said.

The first My Rakyat programme this year was held at the Edible Park in Medini, Iskandar Puteri on March 25, with 35 stalls offering fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, fish, sundry goods, plants and snacks as well as cooked food.

“Although the market was held during the conditional movement control order, the turnout was quite good and we made sure to adhere to the standard operating procedures and only allowed 100 people to enter at any one time.

“The programme will be expanded to other districts throughout the year, with an upcoming one slated for April 10 at Taman Setia Jaya in Batu Pahat, ” said Shahrizan.

The farmers’ market will then head to the Wisma Persekutuan carpark in Kota Tinggi in June and the Taman Perling mosque in Johor Baru in August.

Shahrizan also said that Johor Fama would help to promote the events to create more awareness and promote local products to the public.

Since its inception in 2014, the programme has been held in 188 locations nationwide, with RM76.84mil recorded in sales.

It also saw the participation of 2,746 entrepreneurs and 4.5 million visitors over the years.

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